The Way Things Go

Inside a warehouse, Swiss artists Peter Fischli (b. 1952) and David Weiss (1946—2012) built an enormous, precarious structure 100 feet long made out of common household items—tea kettles, tires, old shoes, balloons, wooden ramps, etc. Then, with fire, water, gravity and chemistry, they created a spectacular chain reaction, a self-destructing performance of physical interactions, chemical reactions, and precisely crafted chaos worthy of Rube Goldberg or Alfred Hitchcock.

Called "the merry pranksters of contemporary art" (The New York Times), Fischli and Weiss collaborated for 33 years, drawing worldwide notoriety and praise for taking on big questions with humble materials and a tongue-in-cheek manner. THE WAY THINGS GO, newly restored and now on Blu-ray for the first time, remains their most acclaimed and beloved work. 

"Among the most admired artworks of the late 20th century—enshrined in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection, emulated by TV ads, music videos and made-for-YouTube movies—and one of the headiest."J. Hoberman, The New York Times

"Glorious, inspired and demented!"—Paper Magazine

"'Ingeniously choreographed... a Duchampian extravaganza!"—The New York Times

"A Rube Goldberg drawing come to life. How did they do it?"—Chicago Tribune

"Fascinating. Comparable to no other film ever made."—Riverfront Times

"Dazzling, amazing. Downright hypnotic!"—Time Out New York

"Inventive, amusing... this fantastic novelty work is a triumph."The Plain Dealer


Main credits

Fischli, Peter (film director)
Weiss, David (film director)
Jordi, Hans-Ulrich (film producer)
Hoehn, Marcel (film producer)
Richterich, Alfred (film producer)

Other credits

Kamera, Pio Corradi; schnitt [editing], Rainer M. Trinkler, Mirjam Krakenberger.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Cinema Studies


chain reaction; physics; chemistry; contemporary; art; Peter Fischli David Weiss; Fischli & Weiss; Rube Goldberg; Honda; cog; ad; der lauf der dinge; documentary; film; video; dvd; "The Way Things Go"; Icarus Films; short;